Friends,

Masters week has arrived signaling that it must really be Spring finally (and not too soon because of the polar vortex).  Players start practice rounds today and the action kicks off on Wednesday with the Par 3 Competition and Round 1 on Thursday.   With Woods out and past winners like Mickelson and Zach Johnson struggling, the field looks wide open for the Green Jacket.  Hopefully this morning’s heavy rains in the region won’t impact the timeline.

With #7 seed Connecticut and #8 Kentucky knocking off Florida and Wisconsin on Saturday, tonight’s NCAA men’s final will crown an unlikely winner that few, less the Huskie/Wildcat faithful, would have predicted.  Of course, both programs have been there before and neither will be the lowest seed ever to win a championship.   In 1985, heavy underdog #8 seeded Villanova Wildcats led by Eddie Pinckney, shot nearly 85% from the floor to defeat the mighty Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown Hoyas.   As for the women, everybody got what they wanted in Nashville:  37-0 Notre Dame against 39-0 Connecticut.  Last night, ND rolled over Maryland 87-61 while UConn broke away from Stanford for a 75-56 victory.  Finally, don’t sleep on the Frozen Four in Philly which starts Thursday with Boston College and Union College at 5 pm.  North Dakota takes on Minnesota in the nightcap.

Speaking of Nashville, country music veteran George Strait and singer Miranda Lambert led the winners at the 49th Academy of Country Music awards (the event was in Las Vegas).  Now you all know I’m not a country music guy (I once was hanging out on a beach in the Bahamas with Vince Gill and wondered aloud to him why some folks wanted to “make a picture” with him), but I know many of you are…so I wanted to report last night’s late results.   Jason Laden won male vocalist for the second consecutive year, while rising artist Kacey Musgrave’s picked up album of the year for her debut studio record “Same Trailer Different Park.”  The award for song of the year was given to Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” The song was inspired by Paul Monty, the father of U.S. soldier Jared Monty who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.  And again, for those of you that happen to be fans, just heard tickets will be on sale soon for the FULL Fleetwood Mac Reunion tour.

Back on the policy and politics front, the week will be busy as Congress hustled to work before next week’s Passover/Easter recess.  Energy Secretary Moniz is on Capitol Hill twice, while Gina McCarthy addressed a BPC/NARUC forum today and the Senate Approps Committee on Wednesday.   EPA’s Janet McCabe gets a nomination hearing tomorrow and Senate Ag looks at Advanced Biofuels.  Wednesday, the Joint Economic Committee looks at natgas production and RFF hosts a shale forum on Thursday.

Finally, this afternoon, the House Energy & Commerce Health panel holds a hearing on improving FDA transparency where our friend Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group will testify on issues related to sunscreen featured in a recent Washington Post story.   Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research will also testify.

Tomorrow, our friends at SAFE are releasing the latest update to last year’s landmark “Oil Security Index” report.  The initial report, released in October around the 40th Anniversary of the Arab oil embargo measures and ranks the oil security of 13 countries around the globe. The Index measures countries’ structural dependence on oil, economic exposure to the global oil market, and capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions. Given the U.S.’s recent increase in oil consumption and Russia’s heavy reliance on oil export revenue, you might imagine that tomorrow’s report will particularly focus on these two countries.   And also tomorrow, the Chamber’s Energy Institute hosts FirstEnergy CEO Tony Alexander as part of its CEO leadership series.

Finally, our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal is in town Friday to discuss his book on the natural gas boom at the New America Foundation.  Two weeks to go until the Stanley Cup Playoffs…Call with questions

Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Magner Book A NY Post Must Read – Our friend Mike Magner, who doubles at the National Journal, had his book A Trust Betrayed make the New York Post’s “Must Read” list over the weekend.  Magner’s book, released last month, provides the first comprehensive reporting on a story that began in 1941 when the Marine Corps opened Camp Lejune on the Atlantic shores to practice beach landings for World War II. For the next 40 years, the Marines dumped toxic wastes at numerous locations around the sprawling installation that ended up seeping into the groundwater that provided the base water supplies.

Marino Letter Outlines NatGas Benefits – Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania wrote this week that natural gas/shale drilling is nothing short of a game-changer for the U.S. economy, especially his rural district in Northeast Pennsylvania.  Marino pointed out the opportunities and long-term growth prospects that the energy industry is creating in the area.  Marino said Lackawanna College, a two-year educational institution situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale, launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009.  The college has gone on to develop a Natural Gas Technology Associate’s Degree program in cooperation with the natural gas industry designed to prepare students for a career in the operations segment of the industry, a flourishing source of regional job growth.  If you want to see a copy of Marino’s Letter, I can forward.

Companies, EDF Sponsor Contest to Capture Methane Technologies – EDF and five oil and natural gas companies are calling on engineers and technology developers to submit proposals and compete in the “Methane Detectors Challenge.” The collaboration between industry and environmental groups is designed to spur the development of cutting-edge, new technologies that provide continuous detection of methane emissions.  The program will make it easier for the oil and gas industry to rapidly find and fix methane leaks that are having a sizable impact on intensifying global climate change.  The Methane Detectors Challenge offers innovators the unique opportunity to have their technologies undergo extensive, independent testing, at no cost, in Southwest Research Institute’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Texas. The most promising technologies, that also meet required specifications, will advance to pilot field trials at facilities run by many of the participating oil and natural gas companies.

EIA: Net Energy Imports In 2013 Lowest In More Than 20 Years – EIA reports this week that total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports and a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013. Preliminary 2013 data for U.S. total energy consumption, production, and trade, is now posted in EIA’s Monthly Energy Review.

April is Safe Digging Month, Excavation Damages  Cut in Half – According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization co-founded by the American Gas Association (AGA) and dedicated to utility line damage prevention, excavation damages for all underground facilities have decreased by approximately 50% since 2004. This improvement is due in large part to work done by local natural gas utilities to promote the use of “Call 811,” the national number for people to call to locate utility lines before beginning any digging project, no matter how small. With excavation damage remaining the leading cause of pipeline incidents in the United States, America’s natural gas utilities are committed to reducing their occurrence even further by urging communities to follow safe digging protocol and call 811 before beginning any kind of project that involves digging. Across the country, natural gas utilities are engaging innovative outreach campaigns to spread the word about safe digging in their communities.   AGA today also released a video to help children understand natural gas safety. April marks the 7th annual National Safe Digging Month, an initiative put in place to remind professionals and homeowners of the importance of following safe digging procedures. Striking a single utility line can cause injury and outages, and incur repair costs and fines. Every digging project – even small projects like installing a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree or garden – warrants a free call to 811 to help ensure utility lines are avoided.  Utility crews will locate and mark lines at no cost to the caller.

Rail Congestion, Cold Weather Raise Ethanol Spot Prices – EIA also said last week that ethanol spot prices have increased steadily since early February. By late March, New York Harbor (NYH) spot ethanol prices exceeded prices for RBOB (the petroleum component of gasoline) by more than $1 per gallon. Ethanol spot prices in Chicago and Gulf Coast markets also rose above NYH RBOB prices. The premium of New York Harbor over Chicago spot ethanol prices, which averaged 25 cents per gallon in January (close to the typical transportation costs of moving ethanol from production centers in the Midwest to terminals on the East Coast in recent years) widened to $1 per gallon in early March. Logistical constraints in and around ethanol production centers in the Midwest, mainly involving railroads on which approximately 70% of ethanol is shipped, appear to be a key factor driving recent prices.  The whole EIA issue has spurred a most excellent argument between RFA and the Railroads.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Appropriations/Budget:

Tuesday

  • House Approps Panel on Energy, Water on Environmental Management program.  Dave Huizenga testifies.  10:00 a.m.

Wednesday

  • House Approps Panel on Interior, Environment on EPA budget.  McCarthy testifies.  10:00 a.m.
  • Senate Approps Panel on Energy, Water on Energy Budget. Moniz testifies. 2:30 p.m.

Thursday

  • House Science on DOE’s Science, Technology budget.  Moniz testifies.  9:00 a.m.

BPC, NARUC to Host GHG Conference – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Project and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will hold their 3rd workshop in a series today at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Greenhouse Gas Regulation of Existing Power Plants under the Clean Air Act.  This workshop will look at state, regional and company approaches that are impacting power sector GHG emissions. The event will feature dynamic panel discussions on: 1) examples of state successes that are contributing to GHG reductions from the power sector, 2) industry approaches to diversify their resource mix, 3) experience and opportunities to enhance energy efficiency and 4) existing and potential multi-state reduction efforts.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will deliver a keynote address to a workshop. Colette D. Honorable of NARUC will also deliver remarks.

Climate Program to Hold Public Meetings – The U.S. Global Change Research Program will hold a meeting today and tomorrow at the National Academy of Sciences Building focused on existing programs research.

Georgetown to Host GHG Forum – Georgetown University Law Center will hold an event today at 3:30 p.m. on the state and federal climate policymaking with leading state officials and academic experts.  Panelists for this event will include Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary and Georgetown Law Alumni Deborah Markowitz, former EPA Policy office official and GU Professor Lisa Heinzerling, and William W. Buzbee, director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program.  The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environmental Initiative and is part of a speaker series focused on climate change.  Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law Program, will moderate the discussion.

Fed Bank Exec to Address Forum – NERA Economic Consulting and its parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, are co-sponsoring a series of lectures starting today at 6:00 p.m. on current economic events.  The events are organized by The George Washington University’s Department of Economics.   The first event will feature Sandra Pianalto, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Ms. Pianalto will put a spotlight on the importance of education and innovation in spurring long-term economic growth.

NIST to Host Disaster Resilience Workshop – The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a workshop at its Gaithersburg Main Campus today looking at a community-centered approach to disaster resilience.  Annual losses from natural and other types of disasters in the United States averages $57 billion, with losses from large single events, such as Hurricane Katrina, exceeding $100 billion.  The workshops will explore the role that buildings and infrastructure systems play in enabling communities to protect people and property and recover more rapidly from natural and man-made hazards.

Utility Summit to Feature Moniz, Whitman – Bloomberg New Finance will hold a summit in New York today through Wednesday focused on Changing utility business models.   Speakers include DOE Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, former NJ Gov. and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker, Exelon CEO Christopher Crane, GE CEO Jeff  Immelt, former Duke Energy Jim Rogers and many more.

Energy Bar Conference to Focus on Secure Energy – The Energy Bar Association will hold Its Annual Meeting and Conference today and tomorrow in Washington.  The conference will focus on the challenges of generating and delivering energy securely.

Senate Ag Committee to Look at Advanced Biofuels – The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow discuss the role that advanced biofuels can play in strengthening the rural economy.  Unlike renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol, advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol are typically made from feedstocks such as wood, grass or agricultural waste. The technology has been slow to catch on.  The hearing will examine the role domestically-produced, advanced, non-food based biofuels are playing in creating jobs and strengthening the rural economy.  Witnesses will include Richard Childress of Childress Racing, DuPont Biosciences Jan Koninckx, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Ethanol Council, Innovate Mississippi’s Sumesh Arora and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.

Senate Environment to Hear EPA Nominations – The full Senate Committee on Environment hold a nominations hearing tomorrow on EPA nominations for Janet G. McCabe to be the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation office, Ann E. Dunkin to be the Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information of the EPA and Manuel H. Ehrlich, Jr., to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board”

FirstEnergy CEO to Address Chamber Leadership Series – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host its CEO Leadership Series luncheon tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring FirstEnergy President and CEO Anthony Alexander.  The electric utility industry is in a time of unprecedented change.  Alexander’s remarks will focus on some of the regulatory challenges and mandates that are making it more difficult for electric utilities to provide reliable, affordable service to customers.  He also will emphasize the importance of a national energy policy that drives economic expansion, creates jobs, and recognizes the high value that customers place on the use of electricity.

Heartland to Hold Climate Events – Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast and scientists from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change will be Washington, DC the week on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with members of Congress, the press, and allies to announce the release of two new reports on why global warming is not a crisis: “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts” and “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies.  The authors find higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures benefit nearly all plants, leading to more leaves, more fruit, more vigorous growth, and greater resistance to pests, drought, and other forms of “stress.” Wildlife benefits as their habitats grow and expand. Even polar bears, the poster child of anti-global warming activist groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are benefiting from warmer temperatures.  Media event will be Wednesday Morning at the National Press Club.

House Resources To Look at Women in Energy Jobs – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at energy job opportunities for women and minorities.  Women and minorities are already a key part of America’s energy renaissance and their role and importance will only continue to grow. It is estimated that their employment in the energy sector will rise to one-third by 2030 – up from one-fourth in 2010. This hearing will examine opportunities in this sector, what is driving this increase, and identify ways to ensure continued job growth.

Energy, Oil Debate Set – Tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at American University, the French-American Global Forum / French-American Institute for Global Affaires and The School for International Services at American University -Washington, DC. in Cooperation with Le Monde Diplomatique present the fourth and final debate of the Le Monde diplomatique Debates Series – Washington, D.C. on oil and energy and what the future will hold.

Atlantic Council to Focus on Global Solutions – The Atlantic Council will hold a Global Solutions Summit on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. As populations, urbanization, and incomes rise in emerging markets, demand for the basic necessities of a middle class lifestyle will also grow thus presenting myriad opportunities for sustainable, economic growth. The Summit seeks to discuss the impact of megatrends and various solutions for resource constraints.  The Global Solutions Summit is based on the premise that in the coming decades, with population growth, rising incomes, and increasing rates of urbanization in emerging markets, billions more people will have the income to afford such basic necessities as electricity, adequate nutrition, clean water, clean air, and essential health care as well as other middle class amenities and life styles. Meeting these demands is both a moral imperative and an unparalleled business opportunity that can generate high returns for investors in both developed and developing countries and serve as a new, powerful engine of global growth.

Forum to Look at Advanced Transportation – The Information Technology Industry Council will hold an expert panel discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. about the future of mobility, the new technologies and business models that are likely to emerge, and the policies that can help spur even greater innovation. The event will also include a demonstration of Toyota’s new front-drive, zero emission, concept vehicle: the i-Road. Transportation is undergoing a technological transformation. Even as companies compete to introduce new and more efficient fuel technologies, increasing consumer demand for connectivity is turning the vehicle into the next mobile platform. Speakers will include Mary Brown of Cisco Systems, Toyota’s Andrew Coetzee and IBM’s Riz Khaliq.

Joint Economic Committee to Look at NatGas Production – On Wednesday  at 2:30 p.m., the Congressional Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearings to examine the economic impact of increased natural gas production.  Witnesses will include IHS expert John Larson, UPS’s Jim Bruce, EDF’s Mark Brownstein, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Director of Economics21 and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

ELI to Host Networking Happy Hour – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern on Wednesday evening.  Light appetizers will be included; other refreshments are at your own expense.

Book Forum To Discuss Sci-Fi Thriller – On Wednesday, the Future Tense Book Club will meet at the New America Foundation to discuss Shovel Ready. The novel, by New York Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh, imagines a near-future New York City that is decaying while the wealthy who remain take refuge in an alternate reality. Our guide to Sternbergh’s engrossing dystopia: a garbage man turned hit man. In a conversation on Slate, Sternbergh’s editor, Zack Wagman, described the book as “noir, detective, sci-fi world-building, speculative dystopia, and just out-and-out thriller.”

NOIA Meeting Set for DC – The National Offshore Industry Association (NIOA) will hold its annual meeting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC on Wednesday through Friday.  The event will include industry experts, Administration officials, politicians from both sides of the aisle and communications experts to discuss the future of the offshore industry.  Our friend Karen Harbert of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute, BSEE’s Brian Salerno , Sen. Tm Scott and Reps Barrow, Walden, Southerland, Scalise and Jeff Duncan will speak, among many others.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On Wednesday and Thursday, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.

Key Energy Reporters to Headline ACORE Forum – The American Council on Renewable Energy will host a morning of discussion and debate on the topic of clean energy in the media on Thursday at the National Press Club’s Lisagor Room.  Panel one will focus on national storylines impacting the U.S. clean energy sector and will feature our friends Coral Davenport, Monica Trauzzi Amy Harder.  Panel two will look at state reporting on clean energy and will include Ryan Randazzo of the Arizona Republic, among others.  Greentech Media Stephen Lacey will moderate.

CSIS to Release New Report on Energy, Geopolitics – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will roll out a new report on Thursday called the “New Energy, New Geopolitics: Balancing Stability and Leverage.”  The report is the result of a year-long exploration by the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies on how shale gas and tight oil in the United States are impacting energy, geopolitical, and national security dynamics around the world, with the intention of providing policymakers a structured way to consider the potential risks and rewards of these new shale gas and tight oil resources.

RFF to Discuss Shale Gas Development – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss shale gas development.  RFF will host three distinguished scholars researching the benefits and costs of shale gas development as experienced by local communities. Hunt Allcott (New York University) will present his work on boom-and-bust cycles related to oil and gas development; James McElfish (Environmental Law Institute) will examine how impact fees collected in five Pennsylvania counties are being used in the local economy; and Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary and RFF) will present recent analyses on the impacts of shale gas development on property values and truck traffic and accidents in Pennsylvania.

McCurry to Speak at Press Club Dinner – The National Press Club will host a dinner on Thursday featuring former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry.  McCurry will look back on his nearly four decades in Washington as a communications and political strategist.  The dinner is sponsored by the NPC Communications and Marketing Committee and will be held in the Winners’ Room of the Fourth Estate Restaurant.

DOE to Start Stakeholder Meetings on QER – The Department of Energy will hold the first six public meetings to collect stakeholder input into the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) on Friday at the Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capital Visitor’s Center. As the Secretariat for the QER Task Force, DOE will hold a series of meetings to discuss and receive comments on issues related to the development of a comprehensive strategy for the infrastructure needed to transport, transmit and deliver energy to consumers.  The first of these stakeholder and public engagement meetings will focus on infrastructure resilience and vulnerabilities, including cyber and physical threats, climate, and interdependencies.  Details for the next five QER stakeholder public meetings are still being finalized, but will include a meetings on infrastructures constraints in New England, to be held in Hartford, CT; infrastructure constraints related to Bakken, to be held in North Dakota; electricity transmission storage and distribution in the west, to be held in Portland, Ore.; petroleum product transmission and distribution, including carbon dioxide and enhanced oil recovery, to be held in Louisiana; and rail, barge, and truck transportation, to be held in Chicago.

Forum to Feature Russ Gold NatGas Book – On Friday at 12:15 p.m., the New America Foundation will host a book forum with our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal moderated by our friend Steve LeVine.  A decade ago, Russell Gold noticed something going on in Fort Worth, Texas—oil drillers were suddenly afire with talk of a strange new phenomenon. Employing a new method that seemed a lot more like mining than drilling, they were improbably extracting natural gas from rock that had confounded everyone for decades – almost imporous shale. Since then, Gold has roamed the country investigating the boom created by the Fort Worth discovery. It has taken him to an overnight stay with a fracking crew in North Dakota, a bumpy ride on a pickup truck with ranchers in south Texas, and a hostile welcome by the repair crew on an exploded well in Pennsylvania. Along the way, he met with neighbors, workers, oil executives and environmentalists.  You might remember a few weeks ago, we featured the Gold’s book “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World” as they rolled it out.  In the book, Gold unravels the mystery of hydraulic fracturing, how it has affected the lives of thousands of Americans, propelled a new energy-fueled economic boom, and changed geopolitics around the world.

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE to Look at Honey “Bee” Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a brown bag lunch on Tuesday, April 15th at Noon at Cassidy & Associates for a look at what threatens and nurtures bee colonies .  Dr. Mary Purcell-Miramontes, National Program Leader for USDA-NIFA will provide an overview of colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive suddenly disappear.  She will discuss how the disappearance is threatening many commercial fruit crops in the US and what is known about the causes of the disorder.  Also joining us will be Larry Marling, a local beekeeper and provider of home and office beehives. He will discuss considerations with home beekeeping and the enjoyment you may get from having your own backyard hive.

USEA Forum to Update AWC Transmission Project – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 16th at 10:00 a.m. providing an update on the Atlantic Wind Connection.  The Atlantic Wind Connection is an offshore, undersea transmission line that will span the mid-Atlantic region, beginning in northern New Jersey and eventually extending to southern Virginia. The transmission line will connect wind farms that are built in the federally-designated “Wind Energy Areas,” at least ten miles off the coast. Bob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Trans-Elect, and Pierre Bernard, Managing Partner of Bernard Energy Advocacy, will provide an overview of the project and its significance for the future of East Coast electricity transmission.

DOE Webinar to Look at Wind Advances – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday, April 16th at 3:00 p.m. looking at recent wind technology advances.  Owen Roberts, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will present on the current state of turbine technology, new methodology, and new state wind maps developed using these methods. Simon Mahan of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will discuss the impact that modern and future turbines may have on the Southeast and lessons learned from ongoing projects. Aaron Barr from MAKE Consulting will discuss the future of low-wind-speed technology, current technology trends, and projections for the future.

UC-Boulder Forum to Look at Climate, Extreme Weather – On April 16th, the University of Colorado-Boulder will hold a forum on how scientists can forecast where extreme events will occur and their severity.   Kathleen Tierney, Director of the CU Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center and Kevin Trenberth from the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will join facilitators Dr. Anne Gold of CIRES and Deb Morrison of University Colorado Boulder in an interactive panel discussion.  These experts will cover what communities and governments can do to increase resiliency to extreme weather events and how the scientific community can help prepare citizens and government.

INGAA Head Santa to Discuss Report – ICF International will host our friend Don Santa, President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), on April 17th for its April Energy Breakfast.  Santa will discuss the INGAA Foundation’s new report on dynamics and issues affecting midstream infrastructure development. The report discusses the needs for midstream pipeline infrastructure in North America through 2035 to meet the booming production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and petroleum.

RFF to Host Deepwater Drilling, Restoration Discussion – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday, April 17th at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the current state of offshore Oil and gas drilling.  Almost four years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.  RFF will host a discussion of lessons learned about restoration in the Gulf of Mexico region and whether these lessons can be applied to the development of oil and gas resources in the Arctic and other offshore areas. The discussion will take place on two panels—coastal restoration and Arctic development—and include experts from government, NGOs, and industry.  Speakers will include Don Boesch, government officials from NOAA and BSEE and many more.

GEA Event Set – The Geothermal Energy Association holds its International Geothermal Showcase on April 22nd at the Ronald Reagan Building. The Showcase will bring together the key government and industry leaders who will be making decisions about building thousands of new megawatts of geothermal power around the world.  has currently confirmed attendance from government and industry leaders representing 20 countries.  It will serve as an opportunity to explore and learn from each other about the best policies and approaches to expand the use of geothermal power domestically and abroad.  In addition, GEA will be releasing its “2014 U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production” report at the International Geothermal Showcase.

FWS to Hold Final Wind, Wildlife Training – On April 23rd at 2:00 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host its final bimonthly training broadcast covering emerging issues and providing direction for wind energy facility planning, development, and operations to avoid impacts to wildlife and their habitat.  The final broadcast of the series will focus on the latest and greatest in research. Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Cris Hein of Bat Conservation International and Chad Le Beau and Wally Erickson of WEST, Inc. to share research results and conclusions related to bats, grassland birds, and sage grouse.

FERC’s Clark, Congressional Members Address Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association will hold its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 28th through 30th at the Capital Hilton.  The event provides a forum for industry, legislative and regulatory agency staff to exchange knowledge and expertise pertinent to the hydroelectric industry.  FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will be a keynote speaker.  Others will include Reps. Diana DeGette, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden.

WCEE Lunch to Focus on Energy Dependency in Ukraine, Others – The WCEE Brown-bag Luncheon Series will hold a forum on Friday, May 2nd at Noon on the politics of energy dependency, with specific focus on Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.  The event will feature Margarita M. Balmaceda, Professor of diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The event looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compared these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependence on Russia, as well as politically independent transit states.  Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (“oligarchs”), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy took in the region – and these states’ own political development.

WINDPOWER Set for Vegas – AWEA will hold its annual WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas on May 5th through 8th at the Mandalay Bay.   Keynoter will be Seth Goldman of HonesTea.

Education Leaders to Discuss Energy, Manufacturing Skills Gap – The Newsmakers Committee of the National Press Club will host a Newsmaker forum on May 6th at 2:00 P.m.  to discuss the “skills gap” challenge facing the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors today.  U.S. manufacturing employs more than 11,000,000 U.S. workers  directly and creates almost 7,000,000 more jobs in related industries.  There are an estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled and 2.7  million manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the next decade. In a recent survey of its members,  the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) stated that 74% reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.  Manufacturing technology continues to advance as does the need for  highly skilled workers. With many manufacturing technology  programs at secondary and post-secondary schools having closed in  recent years, there are not enough skilled people to fill these essential  roles.  Speakers will include Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy.  Volk has launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009 at the two-year college situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale.  PMA President William Gaskin and NTMA President Dave Tilstone or CEOs from two of their member manufacturing companies will discuss their training initiatives and other programs to attract young workers to manufacturing, as well as ways in which the federal government and U.S. Congress can help close the skills gap in manufacturing. Finally,  Brig Gen. (retired) Marianne Watson of American Jobs for American Heroes (AJAH), which focuses on connecting manufacturers with members of the military, will also be on the panel.

PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st.  The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets.  Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy.  Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist.  The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.